The AFL has trialled several new rules since the start of the 2011 season, the biggest (and possibly most controversial) being the substitute/3-1 bench. Others include the confusing push in the back free kick rule. I’m finding that more proposed changes (such as making the bench 2 and 2) is coming a little too quick for the game.
Yes, I agree that as the game moves into the future the AFL needs to adapt to changing strategies, higher rates of injuries etc, but I am not for “cutting” the game into pieces every year, after the substitute rule was installed in the 2011 season. It’s been used to great effect, the majority of the time giving fresh legs on the field, or replacing an injured player.
Reading the sport sections of newspapers lots, I come across a lot of talk about these rules. To be honest, capping interchanges and bringing in a 2-2 rule is a bit too impractical. Players need rest during the game to stop possible injuries, and having two substitutes would cruel that.
Leigh Matthews and Mick Malthouse were against the 3-and-1 rule when it was first implemented, but have since changed their views. However, there has been a lot more opposition towards the prospect of 2 interchange players and 2 substitutes. It would force coaches to change game plans again, but, as is their job, coaches must change strategies every single game.
The 2-and-2 rule will not be a viable option.